- President Donald Trump has dissolved the commission investigating alleged voter fraud that it said happened during the 2016 election.
- Despite the closure, Trump repeated his claim that there is “substantial evidence of voter fraud.”
- The controversial Commission on Election Integrity achieved little and was hit by numerous lawsuits and an inability to gain access to voter data.
The Trump administration has dissolved the commission investigating alleged voter fraud that it said occurred during the 2016 US election.
President Donald Trump announced the decision on Wednesday but still made the unsubstantiated claim that fraudulent activity occurred during the election.
“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry. Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”
As of October 2017, 15 states had refused to supply the commission with their respective residents’ voter data.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that millions of people fraudulently voted in 2016, despite numerous fact-checking investigations debunking the claim.
The administration formed the commission, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, in May 2017 and instructed it to investigate “improper voting, fraudulent voter registrations, and fraudulent voting.”
Concerned that this was an attempt to suppress certain demographics of registered voters, liberal advocacy groups launched eight lawsuits against the commission, essentially grinding it to a halt after its second meeting in September.
Since then, multiple members on the commission have heard nothing – with several of their emails going unanswered.
In October, the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog, announced it would investigate the commission’s funding in early 2018.
Democratic lawmakers quickly weighed in after the committee was disbanded. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said the commission “never had anything to do with election integrity.” Schumer, who has been a frequent critic of Trump and his Republican allies in Congress called the commission an excuse to “suppress the vote” and “perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey called the commission’s efforts “an offense, based on a lie, blatantly seeking to suppress votes.”
“I introduced a bill to disband the commission,” Booker’s statement read. “I am so glad it is no longer necessary. Now that this step backwards was stopped, let’s restore the Voting Rights Act.”